Philosophy of Science 84 (5):1140-1151 (2017)

Authors
Mazviita Chirimuuta
University of Pittsburgh
Abstract
In this article, I discuss the concept of robustness in neuroscience. Various mechanisms for making systems robust have been discussed across biology and neuroscience. Many of these notions originate from engineering. I argue that concepts borrowed from engineering aid neuroscientists in operationalizing robustness, formulating hypotheses about mechanisms for robustness, and quantifying robustness. Furthermore, I argue that the significant disanalogies between brains and engineered artifacts raise important questions about the applicability of the engineering framework. I argue that the use of such concepts should be understood as a kind of simplifying idealization.
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DOI 10.1086/694084
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References found in this work BETA

The Computer And The Brain.John von Neumann - 1958 - New Haven: Yale University Press.
Can Mechanistic Explanation Be Reconciled with Scale-Free Constitution and Dynamics?William Bechtel - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 53:84-93.
Basic Science Through Engineering? Synthetic Modeling and the Idea of Biology-Inspired Engineering.Tarja Knuuttila & Andrea Loettgers - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (2):158-169.
Basic Science Through Engineering?: Synthetic Modeling and the Idea of Biology-Inspired Engineering.Tarja Knuuttila & Andrea Loettgers - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (2):158-169.

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Citations of this work BETA

Marr, Mayr, and MR: What Functionalism Should Now Be About.M. Chirimuuta - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 31 (3):403-418.

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